NHS patients to be asked about sexuality

From BBC - October 14, 2017

Health professionals in England are to be told to ask patients aged 16 or over about their sexual orientation, under new NHS guidelines.

NHS England said no-one would be forced to answer the question but recording the data would ensure that "no patient is discriminated against".

The guidance applies to doctors and nurses, as well as local councils responsible for adult social care.

A spokeswoman said: "It will have no impact on the care [people] receive."

She added: "All health bodies and local authorities with responsibility for adult social care are required under the Equality Act to ensure that no patient is discriminated against."

She said the information would help NHS bodies comply with equality legislation by "consistently collecting, only where relevant, personal details of patients such as race, sex and sexual orientation."

'Face to face'

NHS England recommends health professionals - such as GPs and nurses -ask about a person's sexual orientation at "every face to face contact with the patient, where no record of this data already exists".

It said the data was already being collected in many areas but that the new guidance makes it standard, and that it expects sexual orientation monitoring to be in place across England by April 2019.


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